If you want to get a good night’s sleep while in the great outdoors, then a sleeping mat in NZ conditions is virtually essential. It will give you a more comfortable sleep while you’re camping but more importantly, it will provide a level of insulation between you and the ground and keep you warmer overnight. Staying warm is essential, of course, and that’s virtually impossible to achieve when you don’t have a mat - the cold, hard ground you’re lying on will see you shivering all night and that’s not a good thing.
A sleeping mat is a vital part of any outdoors sleeping system, as are high-quality sleeping bags and tents. But it helps if you’re warm before you hit the sack. For example, sleeping bags trap heat, but they can’t create it. So, if you’re getting into a sleeping bag cold, you’ll probably stay cold for a long period of time. The trick is to get yourself warm before bedtime, and that’s relatively simple to do.
It’s easy to suggest that you get yourself warm by the campfire before bed, but that’s only OK if you’re allowed to light a fire at all. When it’s tinder dry and the fire risk is extreme, then campfires are definitely out of the question. So here’s what else you can do.
Some good old fashioned exercise like jumping jacks or running on the spot will create heat. Another way is to eat foods that are higher in fat as they take longer to metabolize, which creates more heat in the body. Don’t take our word for it. Ask people with experience in the mountains and they’ll confirm it. Some hardcore types are known to drink olive oil before bed, while a lot of mountain guides add butter to their hot chocolate - not because it’s a taste sensation but because it adds fat to the equation, which in turn, adds heat and warmth to the body.
Once in your sleeping bag, remember to look after the extremities. The head and the feet are where much central body heat is lost so plonk on a hat in cooler conditions, and if there’s empty space at the bottom of your sleeping bag, stuff any extra dry clothing down there to act as added insulation - don’t overdo it, just enough to make for a comfortable fit.
Getting a great night’s sleep and having plenty of energy for the next day’s exertions is incredibly important. So, make sure you’re warm before you get into your sleeping bag and invest in good quality sleeping products that offer supreme thermal properties. Contact us and we’ll help you sleep easy in the outdoors!